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Hot flashes going unrecognized, leaving women vulnerable.

Hot flashes are one of the most distressing conditions faced by women who have been treated for breast cancer, but they are not being adequately addressed by healthcare professionals and some women consider giving up their post cancer medication to try and stop them, a new study has shown More than 70 per cent of women who have had breast cancer experience menopausal problems, and hot flashes in particular, which are among the most prevalent and potentially distressing problems following breast cancer treatment.

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Body weight heavily influenced by gut microbes.

Our genetic makeup influences whether we are fat or thin by shaping which types of microbes thrive in our body, according to a new study. Scientists identified a specific, little known bacterial family that is highly heritable and more common in individuals with low body weight. This microbe also protected against weight gain when transplanted into mice. The results could pave the way for personalized probiotic therapies that are optimized to reduce the risk of obesity-related diseases based on an individual's genetic make-up.

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Review of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in reproductive-aged women. Women with PCOS frequently have metabolic complications including insulin resistance (IR), early diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Recent studies have demonstrated an association between PCOS and another metabolic complication: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD occurs as a result of abnormal lipid handling by the liver, which sensitizes the liver to injury and inflammation. It can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is characterized by hepatocyte injury and apoptosis. With time and further inflammation, NASH can progress to cirrhosis. Thus, given the young age at which NAFLD may occur in PCOS, these women may be at significant risk for progressive hepatic injury over the course of their lives. Many potential links between PCOS and NAFLD have been proposed, most notably IR and hyperandrogenemia. Further studies are needed to clarify the association between PCOS and NAFLD. In the interim, clinicians should be aware of this connection and consider screening for NAFLD in PCOS patients who have other metabolic risk factors. The optimal method of screening is unknown. However, measuring alanine aminotransferase and/or obtaining ultrasound on high-risk patients can be considered. First line treatment consists of lifestyle interventions and weight loss, with possible pharmacologic interventions in some cases.

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Identifyng the biological clock that governs female fertility.

A recent study at the University of Gothenburg sheds light on the mystery of the biological clock that governs fertility.

Just as newborn infants require nurturance in order to survive, eggs in the uterus need nourishment and support from the granulosa cells of the primary follicle. According to the latest discovery by Professor Kui Liu's research team, a signaling pathway in these cells plays a key role in enabling immature eggs to survive.

For the full article, click here.

Pregnancy complications in polycystic ovary syndrome patients.

Infertility is a widely disputed problem affecting patients suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). As a serious dysfunction, it frequently occurs in PCOS patients. It is, therefore, important to devote more attention to pregnancy in PCOS sufferers. According to various data, the risk of miscarriage in PCOS women is three times higher than the risk of miscarriage in healthy women. Unfortunately, the risk of most frequent pregnancy pathologies is also higher for PCOS patients, as gestational diabetes (GD), pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia, and small for gestational age (SGA) children. Impaired glucose tolerance and GD in pregnant PCOS patients occur more frequently than in healthy women. A quadruple increase in the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension linked to arterial wall stiffness has also been observed in PCOS patients. The risk of pre-eclampsia, the most severe of all complications, is also four times higher in those suffering from PCOS. Pre-eclampsia is also more frequent in patients presenting additional risk factors accompanying PCOS, such as obesity or GD. At that point, it should be mentioned that PCOS patients are under 2.5 higher risk of giving birth to SGA children than healthy women. It appears that SGA can be linked to insulin resistance and insulin-dependent growth dysfunction. Therefore, PCOS pregnant women are patients of special obstetrical care.

For the full article, click here.

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